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Why some kits gets leaked on FIFA and PES?

It's about amateur designers, blogs and a growing focus on eSports

Why some kits gets leaked on FIFA and PES?  It's about amateur designers, blogs and a growing focus on eSports

Last week, before the official presentation, some gamers had reported the presence of Inter Milan's fourth jersey on FIFA 21. The same has been done by some users on eFootball PES 2021 with the upcoming Manchester United uniforms, very similar to the leaked already released. Also on FIFA 21 - or rather, on FUT mode - a gamer had shown a fourth Borussia Dortmund jersey not yet announced, and whose presence on the pitch, still, remains a mystery. 

Yet, the leaks of football jerseys have always existed, what has changed are the aesthetics and the mechanism that produces them. Ten years ago - when the mesh theme was still a niche - they came mainly from specialized blogs and breaded users. A whole aesthetic of the leak was structured, which was based precisely on a home process: somewhat blurry images made with a stolen mobile phone on a set, warehouse or in the style office of a brand. Although they circulated in the ecosystem of blogs, magazines and social profiles, leaks were hardly published on mainstream newspapers a little because there was less attention around the meshes, a little because they were easier to intercept and contain by the legal offices of the brands.

Today this mechanism has changed mainly thanks to FIFA and PES (and its online FUT or Master League modes) which have quickly become the main hub of football jersey leaks. The grainy photos have been replaced by digital render, precise and bright renders that recreate every detail of the new shirt such as the new Inter Milan's logo.

At the same time, global attention to football jerseys has exploded with the result that a leak that previously remained limited to a circle of users, today bounces on the headlines of half the world, hosting FIFA and PES' screenshots that end up being considered the real responsibles for the leak.

In some cases are clubs that charge the new jerseys in video games, to try to decipher the reactions of the fans; or, they do it shortly before the official presentation to advertise themselves. EA Sports or KONAMI have agreements with the clubs to use the official club jerseys, but there is no doubt that they can do so even with the jerseys not yet released. For example, Manchester United have a partnership with both EA Sports and KONAMI, and have seen the next future circular jersey recently on PES, recreated by a kit designer. This is an exemplary case of how mesh spoilers take place today, that is, through a real-virtual relationship: first the jersey is physically tracked (for example, in stores, or photographed, as FootyHeadlines often shows), and only then arrives in a digital version, recreated by some kit designer.

The leaked jerseys are virtually designed by more or less amateur designers thanks to in-game tools or external programs such as FIFA Kit Creator. Thanks to these new tools, the leaks are more accurate, in the sense that there is a possibility to show them more accurately on FIFA by dressing players.

The consequence on the market of these virtual leaks is that, first of all, the surprise effect diminishes. And then, that the relationship between football clubs and parent companies - EA Sports and Konami - may have problems. For example, AS Roma presented its collaboration with Brain Dead exclusively on PES, but what would have happened if a leak uploaded by a single user had come out on the same platform?

While they may not be directly responsible, production companies should prevent uniforms from circulating on their servers that could harm companies with which they have ongoing contracts. Nothing has happened so far, but in the future, due tpo the growing importance of eSports, the scrupulousness of clubs could be higher.